Thai Beef Curry Best Ever!

Thai Beef Curry, lovely flavors!
Thai Beef Curry, lovely flavors!. D.Schmidt for About.com
    45 min
Ratings

A sumptuous and authentic Thai beef curry that warms and delights the palate.  Especially welcome during the chilly fall and winter months, this hearty red curry features deep flavors and a rich finish completed with fresh basil leaves and freshly-ground black pepper.  Serve with Thai jasmine-scented rice for a dinner feast any night of the week.  About Thai beef curry: Thai beef curry is traditionally made with red chilies which is why it is considered a red curry.  The following recipe comes out of this authentic tradition.  Although you can certainly do so, it isn't necessary to create a separate red curry paste - or use one from the store - for spectacular results. Just follow the easy steps listed below and you'll have a super-delicious beef curry you'll be thrilled to serve. 

What You'll Need

  • 2 beef or bison steaks, chopped into bite-size chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 thumb-size pieces galangal OR ginger, cut into matchstick-like pieces
  • 1-2 red chilies, minced (or less, to taste, OR omit for very mild curry)
  • 1+1/2 cups beef stock OR substitute chicken stock
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves OR 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seed
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 large potato OR 1 sweet potato, chopped into wedges
  • optional vegetables: 1 small zucchini, sliced in half-moons, 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1-2 medium tomatoes, chopped into chunks OR 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato puree or ketchup (I used ketchup)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 can coconut milk
  • To Serve: freshly-ground black pepper, handful fresh coriander or basil

How to Make It

  1. Heat a medium-size pot over high or medium-high heat.  Add oil and swirl around, then add onion, garlic, galangal and chili.  Stir-fry 1-2 minutes to release the fragrance.
  2. Add beef, searing it in the hot oil and fresh spices 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add stock and lime or bay leaves, turmeric, coriander, cum, and cumin seed. Stir well.
  4. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and potatoes. Keep a nice simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes.
  5. Add zucchini, if using, and continue cooking another 5-7 minutes.  When potatoes and zucchini are soft enough to eat, add tomato puree or ketchup and chopped tomatoes.  Cook another 6-7 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft but still retain their form.  
  6. Reduce heat to low, add 1/3 can coconut milk and stir well.  Taste-test your curry, adding more fish sauce for deeper flavor and saltiness. If too spicy, or if you'd like a creamier curry, add more coconut milk. If too salty, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice.  More chili can be added for stronger heat.  
  7. Portion out onto plates or in bowls. Top with freshly-ground black pepper and chopped fresh coriander or basil.  Serve with plenty of Thai jasmine-scented rice.  ENJOY!

Tip Re: Cooking with Tomato and Potatoes -  Be careful not to add the tomatoes until after your potatoes are cooked to your liking. Tomatoes keep potatoes from cooking properly - I found this out the hard way!  Cheers, Darlene